Bowery Songs

Bowery Songs

5.0 3
by Joan Baez
     
 

Joan Baez remains a legend after five decades in music for many reasons, not least of them that she's a glorious performer. This recording, made live in New York, upholds her reputation as a communicator-in-song par excellence. Mixing old favorites ("Joe Hill," "Farwell Angelina"), newer repertoire ("Rexroth's Daughter"), and concert favorites that she presents for… See more details below

Overview

Joan Baez remains a legend after five decades in music for many reasons, not least of them that she's a glorious performer. This recording, made live in New York, upholds her reputation as a communicator-in-song par excellence. Mixing old favorites ("Joe Hill," "Farwell Angelina"), newer repertoire ("Rexroth's Daughter"), and concert favorites that she presents for the first time on an album ("Jerusalem," "Dink's Song"), Baez once again triumphs. She exemplifies the continuing American folk tradition, invoking the power of the music's past while never loosening her commitment to worthy songs of the present day. Songs written decades apart form a seamless bond of camaraderie, due to the direct expressiveness and unwavering focus she brings to bear. She's just one of a kind.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Bowery Songs is a collection of live tracks taken from Joan Baez's performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on November 6, 2004. While it is not an entire performance, there is more than enough to satisfy fans. Baez and her band take on material old -- "It's All Over Now Baby Blue," "Farewell Angelina," "Joe Hill," "Deportee," etc. -- and some fine performances from her last studio outing, Dark Chords on a Big Guitar -- including "Christmas in Washington" and "Rexroth's Daughter." But the big news for fans is that there are four unrecorded songs that have been part of Baez's standard stage repertoire and are often requested by fans. The album's bookend pieces are an a cappella read of "Finlandia" and a fine reading of Steve Earle's "Jerusalem." She also does an amazing version of Bob Dylan's "Seven Curses" here, as well as "Dink's Song." This is a deeply satisfying recording, and Baez is at her very best as an interpretive singer. The read of Earle's "Christmas in Washington" is a case in point. Baez brings a much deeper sense of history and social justice struggle to the tune than Earle does, and she brings it to bear in every line. One can hear her heartbreak as she cracks the song open, bringing the tattered banners of labor unions to the listeners' eyes, and as she invokes the ghosts of Emma Goldman, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, and Woody Guthrie, among others, to the fore, one can feel the sense of hurt, betrayal, and failed promise, but also the trace of rigorous perseverance that the original does not hold. The only song that isn't here but should be is Ryan Adams' "In My Time of Need," which was such a standout on Dark Chords on a Big Guitar. But this is a minor quibble, as Bowery Songs is Baez's edgiest and most darkly seductive live album to date.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/06/2005
Label:
Koch Records
UPC:
0099923571421
catalogNumber:
5714

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joan Baez   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Graham Maby   Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Duke McVinnie   Guitar,Vocals
Erik Della Penna   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
George Javori   Percussion,Drums,Musical Direction
Erik Dellapenna   Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Jean Sibelius   Composer
Joan Baez   Arranger,Adaptation
Woody Guthrie   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Earl Robinson   Composer
Greg Calbi   Mastering
Natalie Merchant   Composer
Mark Spector   Producer,Audio Production
Norman Moore   Art Direction
Lloyd Stone   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Hardi Kamsani   Engineer
Martin Hoffman   Composer
John Mark Harris   Engineer
Peter Gary   Stage Technician

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